Feb 27, 2013 - SYSTEM FAILED IN HOLUBOWICH SENTENCE: JUDD (Grande Prairie Warrior's case)

A somber crowd of family members and friends of the four teens killed in the October 2011 crash consoled one another outside the Grande Prairie courthouse after Wednesday’s prison sentence was handed down to Brenden Holubowich.

Holubowich received three-years in jail, followed by a three-year driving ban after pleading guilty to four counts of dangerous driving causing the deaths of Matthew Deller, 16, Walter Borden-Wilkins, 16, Tanner Hildebrand, 15 and Vincent Stover, 16, and one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm to Zach Judd, now 17.

Many were hopeful Justice William Tilleman would reject the joint submission, especially after he took Tuesday evening to think about his decision.

“The decision just goes down to prove that our justice system is just a joke,” said Leon Deller, Matthew’s father.

Deller said he understands the judge’s decision and that higher courts bind him.

“And that’s where the problem is. Parliament needs to get their heads, excuse the words, out of their asses and start realizing that people are affected by drunk driving.”

He said there is a shred of relief in the fact that it is now public knowledge that his son, who was driving the car with the four other teens, did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system.

Desiree Judd, Zach’s mother, agreed with Deller, and she also doesn’t blame Justice Tilleman for accepting the joint submission.

“I think that the system failed us from the get-go,” she said.

“At this point there’s nothing we can do.”

Judd said the sentence does not bring any closure.

“It’s just a joke, a slap on the wrist,” she said.

“I really had hopes last night that the judge would come back with something better,” she said.

Teresa Bateman, Brenden Holubowich’s mother, addressed the media outside the courtroom with her husband, daughter and other family members at her side, as she read from a prepared written statement.

“As Brenden’s mom, and on behalf of his loving family, we sincerely extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Matthew Deller, Walter Borden-Wilkins, Tanner Hildebrand and Vincent Stover, and to the family and friends of Zachary Judd for the pain and difficulties associated with his injuries,” she said.

She said the accident was a terrible tragedy that deeply affected many families and people in the community.

“This tragedy can never be reversed, and for this, we’re sorry,” she said, her voice quivering.

She said her family can never fully understand what this experience has been like for the families of the teens or how long the road to recovery will be, but her family has grieved for the boys as well.

She described the horror her family went through, first learning about the accident through social media.

“It’s impossible for me to tell you our grief and our anguish as we adjusted to this reality,” she said.

“For us, any thread of normal was also ripped from our lives and we faced a long difficult journey that was unclear, unknown and very frightening.”

The familiarity of their home community became a place where the Holubowich family now felt afraid and at risk, she said.

Hearing the impact statements had a profound effect on Brenden, she said, and the rest of his family.

“We hope that hearing Brenden’s apology and seeing his face and seeing him face the guilty plea will help each member of the families affected by this loss, heal and find some forgiveness, even if it’s a little bit at a time,” she said.

Source: Daily Herald Tribune


Last updated on: 2013-02-28 | Link to this post